the nuances of everything that's going on, not just in this country, but around the world. getting the news from the people who are affected. >> people need to demand reform... >> ali velshi on target weeknights 10:30p et >> common ground? >> our hope is to find a diplomatic way forward, but this crisis has to be found. >> military leaders from u.s. and russia begin talks on the kremlin arms buildup in syria. refugees making their way through the balkans thought they had a break through only to find themselves stopped again.
>> we need to be patient until we goat where we want to be. >> risking their lives. >> through el salvador and nicaragua. >> they're still coming. >> not as many. >> what mexico is doing different to stop migrants. and finishing touches, we'll go live to havana as cubans prepare for a visit from pope francis, after he helped normalize relations between the u.s. and cuba. >> good evening i'm antonio mora, this is al jazeera america. u.s. and russian military leaders have begun talks how to work together in syria. speaking from london, u.s. secretary of state john kerry says the dlieg is dialogue is p
forward. today russia deployed an additional four fighter jets and attack helicopters, an estimated 500 naval forces are already at a syrian air field. one big concern is that the u.s. and russia now run the risk of accidentally attacking each other's forces. reports also indicate that russian soldiers have filed complaints with russia's human rights council fearing deployment to syria. jamie mcintire has the report, jamie. >> for quite some time, russia and syria are long time military allies and moscow has been aiding the syrian regime since the cold war. but this is quantitativelily beyond what they havquantitativ.
the question is where is this all headed? >> doubling the number of attack helicopters on the ground in syria the u.s. had little choice but to open high level military to military talks with moscow. in london, secretary of state john kerry tried oput the best face on it. >> helping to define the next steps in syria. >> ash carter hasn't talked to his counterpart since he took office. so-called mil to mil talks haven't taken place. russian defense minister told carter the military buildup was defensive in nature to honor russian commitments to juniors d
that moscow shares a common interest to defeat i.s.i.l. fighters are single seat fighters designed for air to air combat but some versions also function in an air to ground role armed with guns missiles and bombs. u.s. also has eight military helicopters in a base that is rapidly expanding, 74 hind gun ships, carrying eight ground troops, guns rockets and sometimes even bombs. the state department says the u.s. russia talks are limited to what it calls deconfliction. translation, the u.s. wants to know what russians are up to so neither side mistakenly attacks the other. >> we want to see deconfliction
mechanism take place, in case russia moves forward, to deconflict in that space. >> reporter: the fact that russia describes its buildup answer defensive, that russian president vladimir putin is more concerned with propping up syrian president bashar al-assad than battling i.s.i.l. >> i think part of what may be happening, part of putin's calculus is that assad's regime has been under greater threat in the last several months. >> reporter: antonio, just to be clear, these military to military talks between the kremlin and the pentagon are about preventing any sort of clash between russian and coalition forces in syria. and one of the things that this shows is that russia can essentially put as much military hardware into syria as it wants with impunity and united states
really has no way to stop it. antonio. >> jamie mcintire at the pentagon, thanks. joining us from washington, d.c. is douglas olivant, serving during the george w. bush and clinton administration. they are saying this is to deconflict, saying these moves are defensive in nature to help the assad regime. but it sounds like an awful lot of equipment for merely defense. >> if we see more equipment flood in this becomes less and less believable. we in iraq where we have a not dissimilar force posture, if we wanted to put advisors out in
the field with the iraqi forces we would build up a very similar infrastructure. we would have attack helicopters, we would have armored personnel carriers to go out and rescue our guys if they need it, we would be putting in a hospital, flying in all types of equipment like this. this does resemble the defensive measure for their advisors for assad's forces. >> if it is true defense is the focus it would seem to signal that assad is in bad shape. >> you can look at this one of two ways, certainly he was in bad shape, they lost palmyra to i.s.i.s. not longing a, other losses, on the other hand they are backed up by a superpower. his odds of staying in power went spoangsl spoangsly up.
wentwents exponentially up. >> they want to portray themselves as being on the anti-i.s.i.l. team, they arefully part of this coalition. if the united states really wants to defeat i.s.i.l. in syria banding with the assad regime is the way to do that and what we've been hearing from the syrians all along. >> the call between the two defense secretaries made it seem like they were best buddies, saying that the u.s. and russian interests coincide, could this
be a rapprochement, between the u.s. led coalition in syria? >> absolutely. both the way you put it there that they want to demonstrate that, they're still -- that we have common interests and that there are times when we're going to need the russians and therefore sanctioning them, even though we don't like what they did in crimea is the deal. we had to deconflict, the reason for that call as we made clear is that we deconflict our military operations there with the russians. we are deconflicting because they are a nuclear power. we don't deconflict with any other party in the action. they are the russians. >> we'll see when deconflict becomes part of the dictionary. our special coverage of the refugee crisis from croatia to
western europe. croatia closed seven of its border crossings with serbia after 17,000 refugees arrived, and slovenia pepper-sprayed mieg refugees. croatia's system collapsed in one day after spending months for the high volume. refugees across the border accompanied with police officers. trying to figure out their next step. mohammed jamjoom talked with some of them in da zagreb. >> in croatia the taxis were waiting but obstacles still remain. for refugees taken to zagreb by
train, confusion was only compounded. >> every question has a thousand different answers. there are no right answers, no clarity on what we're supposed to do. >> reporter: on an extremely hot day optimism was apparent but the waiting was endless. >> there are a lot of people here who don't have money or food or water, a lot of babies without milk to drink, they need aid. >> even after they board he buses, they weren't sure exactly where they were headed. >> open the door to refugees, from croatia to slovenia. >> they are expected to be taken to slovenia. they have no information that the border to slovenia is
closed. >> mohammed said, no matter what, he still wants to reach his mother in germany. >> after all this distance we traveled we can't go back. >> reporter: on croatia's border with slovenia, volunteers hand out food and clothing is donated. the refugees are within walking distance to another country but they've been stopped in their tracks once more. mohammed jamjoom, al jazeera, on croatia's border with slovenia. according to a new report from the u.n. children's agency in total unicef says one and a half million children are homeless because of boko haram. more than half of them under the age of five. as a result, the u.n. says tens of thousands are, 000 now
suffering from malnutrition and cocholera. officials say a rocket hit the front yard of a home causing damage to the house and to a bus that was parked nearby. no injuries were reported, this is the first rocket to hit sterot since the gaza war last year. the incident comes as israel deployed 3500 forces to the lawkal-aqsa compound. the compound is holy to muslims christians and jews and it's one of the most contested sites in jerusalem. the u.s. opens up with cuba, as the pope gets ready to begin his first visit to cuba, a look at his church's role in the
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perks are nice. but the best thing you can give your business is comcast business. comcast business. built for business. >> the united states today announced -- consume. one open question about the pope's visit to cuba is what, if anything, he'll say publicly about the castro government's human rights records. david ariosto has the story. >> reporter: when pope francis delivers mass on sunday, he'll do it in the front of a massive agueargentine. it was che alongside fidel and
raul castro who turned against the church following revolution in 1959, 70-year-old raphael is old enough to remember. >> in the first years of the revolution there was a lot of antagonism between religion and the politics of the state. >> reporter: but that relationship has changed. shifting after pope john paul made his historic visit to the island in 1958. a different picture of cuba and religions leaders has emerged, even though issues the leaders raised are taboo. archbishop jamie ortega,
marching in protest against the castro government. in years past, the vatican helped orchestrate the release of political prisoners in cuba. now though, dissidents of the damas de bla blanco or women in white, were detained. cuban priest and secretary of the episcopal conference of cuba, says won't ignore the theme of prisoners. >> the theme of poverty, politics and prisoners. >> summit of americas back in april by which pope francis may be most remembered, even though he didn't attend, a secret deal between cuba and the united states was in part brokered by
the vatican and its work behind the is scenes. >> the vatican's involvement in this policy change was crucial. the support of the vatican and pope francis was crucial to both sides. the respect for this pope because he is latin american and hits importance in cuba and throughout the hemisphere i 30 is part of the reason it's so well respected. >> reporter: on sun for the third time in less than two decades, this famous plaza in havana will again fill with those waiting to see the pontiff. the question though is whether a four day visit by pope francis will lead to even more long lasting changes on the island. >> ambassador miguel diaz joins us tonight, ambassador very good to have you with us. this is third visit of a pope to cuba in 17 years, how significant is this trip?
>> first of all, antonio, thank you for having me here from the windy city which has been very windy tonight. the first pope john paul ii, for the world to open itself up to cuba, in release of political prisoners and second pope benedict visiting cuba asking for the release of more prisoners and securing a religious holiday, good friday and now first latin american pope about to step on the island tomorrow with his message, powerful message that i would characterize by three things, the rejection of human indifference and, the optional suffering, the integral ecology that takes everything into consideration and the third part, the proclamation to embrace the practice of pecular
i, charity, for those of us who are of cuban descent. >> pope francis after helping open up cuba to the world, he must try to open up cuba to the catholic church. you mentioned prior pope visits, the reality is that all of these efforts, the church's activities are still limited, not able to open churches or churches. >> when he attended the papal visit with john paul ii, will undoubtedly call for a greater role in the society including the educational system. >> critics say that the catholic church has been too timid in cuba. certainly when you compare it to the heroic action of church
leaders behind the iron curtain, in the second world war, is the pope not meeting with political dissidents? >> pope francis does not withhold whatever he wants to say and whatever h whenever he y it, he is prophetic, in the option for those who are suffering and are marginalized. i have no doubt that in cuba the message will take on very much the issue of human rights, the issue of greater tree doms for the people of cuba, the issue of greater release of prisoners, i know that the announcement was made over 300 prisoners, mostly young and the elderly, but i think that the call for greater communication and openness, and in this kind of people to people
diplomacy and bridge building will have an effect. it may not happen overnight. but this is what the church will lope for as this vision of mercy and openness is implemented on the island. >> you know i was there just as the current pope was, when pope john paul gave his mass, fidel castro actually snuck in very close to where i was to observe. back then, there was hope for change but not much happened again. do you think because he's a latin american pope, because he's already had influence over the u.s. cuba relations do you think he'll have more of an impact? >> i certainly hope so and i think because of what you just said now, he is a latin american pope. clearly, the other popes attempted this, and we have to remember that back in the cuban missile crisis pop john xxiii
intervened in terms of preventing a world, global crisis. this is the first time the church has a pope that comes from latin america. and this, it is very, very significant i think too that charity and freedom go together in cuba and he is going to visit santiago de cuba, before he comes to the united states. he is going to reenact the journey of christianity into the americas. at one point st. augustin, our lady of charity, a symbol of charity of mercy which is essential to the pope but also associated with freedom. >> do you see symbolism the fact he's going from cuba directly to washington, d.c? >> oh i do and he is crossing through the florida straits. at one point we knew there were rumors he would cross from
mexico in terms of the border in this whole obviously his theme of the preferential, the earlier report ordered, the vatican has wanted this kind of normalization because of the role cuba has continued to exercise in latin america. the vatican has called for this kind of normalizatio normalizatf relations between the united states and cuba. it is very significant that he is going to cuba, that he favors this kind of different approach and then he is coming to washington. we know that the behind the scenes diplomacy that has occurred over the years and especially during his papacy has yielded this new way new spring of human relations that perhaps can change the way that not only these two countries relate but
the way that cuban society relates internally. >> ambassador miguel diaz, very good for you to join us, thank you. >> thank you so much. >> tomorrow we'll bring the complete coverage of the pope's visit to the u.s. related to cuba the united states announced new rules that could have tremendous impact on the economy of the island. they allow for more money and goods to flow between the two countries. the latest at the administration answer efforts to chip away at the embargo. turning back the tide of migrants. how mexico is playing a pivotal role in the flow of migrants. and deadly attack of a military base in pakistan where they massacred schoolchildren last year.
>> as the global refugee crisis intensifies... >> they have travelled for weeks, sometimes months. >> and the e.u. struggles to cope... >> we don't know, they stop us here. >> what's being done while lives hang in the balance? >> we need help now. >> welcome back to al jazeera america, i'm antonio mora. coming up in this half hour of international news how the refugee crisis is looming over sunday's elections in financially strapped greece. but first a look at the stories making headlines across the u.s. in our american minute. president obama has chosen an openly gay man as the next army secretary.
if confirmed, eric fanning will be the first openly gay person to lead a military branch. fanning is currently the acting undersecretary of the army. the senate has to confirm his nomination. the military hearing for sergeant bowe bergdahl has concluded for today. he was released in a prisoner exchange with the taliban. head of the army's investigation into bergdahl's disappearance testified that there should be no jail time in this case. in kentucky, the attorney for a deputy clerk in kim davis's office said davis disobeyed a federal order. davis removed her name from rowan county, for same sex couples, making them essentially invalid. when davis left office the judge
told her to not interfere. central american migrants, in response, mexico tightened up its border with mexico and belize. paul beban joins us now. paul how has mexico been able to reduce the border crossings? >> well, antonio as you might recall, last summer during the peak of that surge of migrants from central america that was watching up on the u.s. southern border president obama met with the mexican president and they discussed ways that they might tighten border security here in mexico and slows that tide. a month later mexico launched plan frontera sword. other activists say it's make things more dangerous for
migrants, not making things easier for migrants and paying mexico to do its dirty work. the ferries start running at dawn on the river. officially mexico and guatemala have ten border crosses. julio has been working for ten years and says he hasn't seen any dropoff of the people moving north. >> they come from honduras and el salvador and nicaragua. everywhere. >> heads for the river bank, angel told us why he's leaving guatemala. >> you work and work and don't get anywhere. in the u.s. there are good and bad things. you're always working but you get dollars. >> reporter: he pays the fare and he's on his way. it's easy to get across the
border. but plan frontera soeur kicks in much further down the road. first stop after the river is the city of tapachula, most aim for arrelaga, 100 miles north, they have caught the train known as la bestia and ridden it to the border. plan frontera soeir has made it difficult to ride through mexico. the line is riddled with checkpoints. the crack down on the roads and rails is forcing people to make the journey on foot sticking to back roads, taking trails through the brush. migrants passing through are routinely robbed, beaten, sexually assaulted, kidnapped or
killed by criminal gangs or the drug cartels. that's why carmen castro and their country are not going any further than tapachula. >> so much fear. we are so afraid someone is going to be kidnapped. we hear they take your kids to one place and you to another. that's why we're afraid to go much further. >> they fled their homes in june after gangs threatened their family. >> we were threaten wednesday death, we truly believe if we had stayed, three would have killed us. we are on the run for our live lives,. >> they never leave their daughter's backpack out of their sights. it's where they keep their passports. they decided the journey to the u.s. is just too long and dangerous. the crime and poverty ravaging central america have not gotten better and yet this year the number of people from central america trying to cross the u.s.
border has dropped almost as sharply as it soared last year. from okay 2013 to april 2014, the overwhelming number heading north were caught at the u.s. border. but a year later, they're still coming, just being stopped further south with mexico taking the lead and almost doubling the number of central americans caught there.the desperation that drives people to leave central america is on terrible display at this shelter in tapachula, set up for are people who have lost limbs on la bestia. force her and her children to sell drugs. in may she made it to mexico and despite plan frontera soeur, she made it onto la best acreia.
>> the injury led to disaster. >> when it came to getting on again i didn't have the strength. and that's when i lost my leg. all i could think of was my daughter who was already on board. i couldn't leave her all by herself. >> she's being fitted for a prosthetic leg and despite her injuries she's still determined to head north, now more than ever. >> i asked god to get me to the united states. i want a better prosthesis. i simply ask god touch the heart of the american president to give us a chance to be let in so we can work, nothing more. >> plan frontera soerr is a classic case of squeezing the balloon. you squeeze it one place for it to bulge out someplace else. as long as the crime and poverty continue to ravage that part of world, it's a similar situation
of the european area, the role hungary is playing for europe right now. >> we're going to have more of that from a representative of world food program in a moment. what's the status now and is anything going to change? >> reporter: well, antonio, what activists say, one of the biggest problems with the plan so far, it's a multi-layered multi-agency plan, who's accountable for all the things they say are going wrong here. there's a plan still going forward, all the deportations, alt the security in this area is still occurring yet how are we going to solve the problems as the issues continue. until those problems are solved, there's likely little change. antonio. >> paul beban, thanks. one reason for mass
migration in central america is a lack of food caused by consecutive drought, more than a million people face food shortages and higher prices. the study was compiled by the international organization for migration and the united nations world food program. >> joining us from washington to discuss how hunger is helping drive mieg rac migration from cl america, miguel, great to have you with us. conventional wisdom, is that violence and lack of proper nutrition. goes beyond wanting a better future, what you are talking about is just plain hunger. >> we're always talking about violence family instability.
but food insecurity. this year after the drought, too, basically that a percentage of people are migrating because of the drought. they are not migrating because they are hungry, they are migrating because they don't have any other opportunity at this moment on how they can feed their own families. and they are using mie migratios a coping mechanism to face this situation. >> and the migration isn't just to the north, it's also to bigger cities in the region. >> what we know for example is 14% of the households that were in gooment thi guatemala, what r example is 31% of this amount has been migrated elsewhere beyond the country but we cannot certify they are coming to the state. they can go to mexico, they can go to pan ma maw panama, they co
other countries. >> drought which is the cause of hirng what can be done? >> well, first of all we need to respond fastly to the current situation. because as i mentioned before the population affectare not going to get food until the next harvest which is in august 2016. it is one year ahead. what we need to do is invest more also in long term solutions like, for example, irrigation, we need to invest more in health centers and be close to the people, particularly to those that are indigenous population, need to be reached through nutritional program for instance. >> that requires money and we've reported often on how the world food program's efforts to help millions of syrian refugees have
been underfunded. do you face similar problems in central america? >> of course. we are considering for example if we just consider to support 500,000 people for the next 12 years in central america we will need range of $80 million. but beyond that we need basically political will. political will from the governments, from the financial organizations, from donors to invest in long term food security solutions. >> you are in charge of all of latin america. what about the rest of your area? what are the biggest challenges? >> well, it depends. i think that the big challenge at this stage is, what we are going to be prepared to face the el nino impact in central america but also in south america. but the main issue for us is how do we really convince to invest more in food and nutrition safety next.
>> the pakistan taliban has claimed responsibility for a deadly attack in an air force abase in peshawar. the attack happened in the same area where the taliban mas massd 145 people most of them children last december. froafortprotesters in burkis coup burned tires. gerald tan reports. >> unrest in ouagadougo. before us we saw a military vehicle that drove into the
people and started shooting killing people. >> if we're here today it's to stand up against the egotistic cal interestalrepublican guard. >> blaiz kampare tried to extend his 27 year rule. preparing for elections last month when the elite presidential guard took over last wednesday. the moon in charge says the vote will take place but at a later time. >> translator: i think we have to discuss it with concerned actors, civil society in order to establish a timetable that will allow for legislative action. we don't intend to extend our power or do what shouldn't be done like some think. >> chief of the presidential gaid, long timguard, raising spa
political plot. many are concerned the presidential guard does not want an election to happen. >> ever since the country became independent in the 1960s the army has been the main power. and so they feel very threatened that real democracy is coming. that's a basic fact. they think that if they allow good elections to go ahead. there will be marginalized and they won't play their central political role that they play in the politics and in the economics. >> the united nations has strongly condemned the coup and with the interim prime minister, still under house arrest, burkina faso's democratic transition has been thrown into doubt. gerald tan, al jazeera. >> at the center of a vin staj dispute witvintagedispute with .
former italian prime minister sylvio bery berlusconi. russia now controls crimea. japan has passed controversial legislation allowing japanese troops to serve abroad. prime minister shinzo abe says the laws are necessary to protect japan from wars. choosing a government they hope can address the country raps economic crisis. in the meantime, thousands of refugees acrossing the mediterranean, are first arriving in greece. barnaby phillips has the story. >> they watch the news as desperate people arrive every
day in their city. in a square in central athens, elderly greeks outnumbered by thousands of afghans. a few will stay in greece and build new lives here like unis who came 14 years ago. he says greeks are generous but he worries that political instability will change that. >> we are afraid that because of this election and because of this crisis maybe the climate will be changing. maybe some extremist groups will use this condition on benefit of themselves, that's why we are afraid. >> this is what he fears. the neonazi golden dawn who have gathered just a few blocks away. foreigners out of greece they chant. golden dawn have no chance of winning this election but according to opinion polls they're now the third most
popular party in greece. for them the refugee crisis is an opportunity. he says it's a disgrace, thousands cross the sea into greece, whilst all our politicians can do is dream who will leave th leave the party. this doctor is currently the minister of refugees until greece gets another government. he says nobody should use the refugee crisis to get more votes. >> translator: it could be used in this political battle but that would be a mistakes because it's a refugee cries i and nocrisisand not an immigrat. we have to accept these refugees by law. >> the harsh truth is that greeks have plenty of things to worry about apart from the refugee crisis.
unemployment, rising taxes and falling living standards. they don't have great expectations of these elections but they desperately hope for a government that will somehow address their country's economic problems. volunteers sort through donated clothes for refugees and poor groakgreeks alike. they know whatever happens in the elections, economic hardship and refugees will be a challenge for this country for years to come. barnaby phillips, al jazeera, athens. >> finland comes to a standstill as the biggest strike the country has seen in decades begins. how angry protesters say the country is trying to change the traditional decision making process with cutbacks. also, strong turbulence injuries a dozen people on a flight from hawaii to philippines.
tossed up and down, i hit the sealing. >> philippines airlines says the flight encountered clear turbulence, which isn't caused by clouds and can't be detected by radar. pilgrims are gathering at the holy mosque of mecca for hajj. they have been undeterred by the crane collapse that killed over 100 people. now to our global view segment with a look at how news outlets across the world are reacting to various events. out of the u.k, the guardian has this editorial. russia has a lot to answer for. the paper says vladimir putin should not be given an opportunity to bask in his antii.s.i.l. solidarity with the west arguing that putin's support of syrian president assad helped in many ways to cause the current instability in the region. the south china morning post says there are cold war lessons
on how to build trust. the paper says washington and beijing treat each other as rivals but should be sitting down and talking. helped end the cold war. and the international new york times offers this editorial cartoon. it shows syrian president bashar al-assad dropping barrel bombs with vladimir putin hovering above in another helicopter asking, can i help? private and government workers shut down businesses all around finland today, thousands protested against austerity measures, analysts argue the strike could cost more than $100 million. rob reynolds has more from the capital helsinki. >> thowthousands rallied.
highly unusual protest in response to a proposed austerity package. the far right says finland needs to cut the cost of labor by 5% and wants to reduce overtime pay, weekend compensation sick leave and do away with two annual paid holidays. >> we are very angry about it, yes. >> translator: it would put a big hole in my wallet. >> they are cheating, lying, they want to break down all the system that we have had here in this country. >> extraordinary the way the government is doing. >> reporter: trains, planes, ships and public transportation were idled for the day and many factories shut down as this country of 5.5 million came to a standstill. the government has tried unsuccessfully to have unions
agree to technology issues, exceptionally serious. finland's economy has been in recession for three years and unemployment is over 9%. economists expect things to get worse before they get better. what upsets many of these workers as much as the proposed cuts themselves is what they say is the government's rejection of the traditional finnish system between the state business and unions regarding changes to social benefits and pay. ann saelin is the leader of the biggest union with 200,000 members. >> we undernegotiate. we get solutions by negotiating. that is why we are so appalled that the government doesn't see the benefit of this, we have built this government together and now it says it knows best. >> the traditional finnish model
is out of date. >> we have this new phenomenon like globalization, increased competitiveness, competition all over. so this consensus type of decision making is too slow to make rapid changes. >> the government says it will wait until the end of the month for unions to come up with alternatives before asking parliament to pass austerity measures into law. rob reynolds, helsinki. >> nasa released the latest photographs from the horizon spacecraft, showing a low lying haze, suggesting pluto has the samslashsimilarsimilar weather .
boom towns turned ghost towns. some have rotted away for a century but a few try to save them and the history they still hold. this is this edition of al jazeera america international news. i will see you in an hour. >> you're not the person to tell me who i am. >> i kept trying to make him not be a boy. >> we tried to force her to wear more masculine clothes. >> when they people come to see us, they are desperate. >> who will love my child? >> who will protect my child? >> i asked for something and now i'm a happy little boy. >> being a woman it's more than a physical body. it's all about your